The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

The Illegal Employment Loophole

Posted by iusbvision on September 12, 2007

How many of you are currently seeking employment, but are unable to find it? Do you believe your job is currently filled by someone working illegally? Have you ever taken the time to see why it is that businesses hire illegal workers? The secret is in the fine print.

Law abiding Americans are being scammed out of jobs by loopholes in the system of citizenship and employment verification. Here is how the scam works: There are certain people allowed in this country, but are not allowed to work, international students on student visas, for example. However, when a person applies for a job, in section 1 on the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I9), an applicant can check one of three options: 1) A citizen or national of the United States; 2) Alien authorized to work; or 3) Lawful Permanent Resident.

The employer is required to ask for documentation proving the applicant’s identity. This can be any of a number of easily forged documents such as a social security card or a driver’s license, which by the way does not have “citizen” printed upon it.

However, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website, under “Employee’s Responsibility Regarding Form I9”, it states, “The documentation presented is not required to substantiate information provided in Section 1. The employer must examine the document(s) and accept them if they reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee who presents them. Requesting more or different documentation than the minimum necessary to meet this requirement may constitute an unfair immigration-related employment practice.” 

This loophole allows for employers who are seeking illegal workers to hire them. As long as the documentation “reasonably appears to be genuine” then the business can hire that applicant. It is the subjective opinion of the Human Resources manager as to whether the documents reasonably appear to be genuine or not.

This loophole also allows an illegal applicant to bully the business into hiring them. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website also states, “Requesting more or different documentation than the minimum necessary to meet this requirement may constitute an unfair immigration-related employment practice.” This means that if an employer challenges the documentation, a lawsuit could be in their future!

I spoke with one former HR associate who told me that the problem is widespread and well-known in the industry. Stereotypically, many Americans immediately point to Hispanics in the factories as the guilty party in this scam. While that does happen, it is not the only place. Another source explained that the Healthcare industry in South Bend is full of employees who have used this loophole to find employment. In that source’s experience, it is international students from Africa who are taking the jobs using the loophole.

This whole issue has created some strange bedfellows. It has brought together the conservative Wall Street Journal and the liberal New York Times. It has also brought together conservative talk radio and powerful liberal trade unions. Even here in South Bend, the mainstream media has ignored this problem. The same source who came to the IUSB Vision with this information gave the names of companies and the names of employees to WNDU, WSBT, and the South Bend Tribune. Remember you heard it from the Vision first.

Jarrod Brigham

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